Basundi is a traditional, rich, creamy dessert prepared by thickening the milk. It is flavored with cardamom and saffron. This is authentic South Indian style basundi (without condensed milk) made by thickening the milk and adding malai (palada in Tamil) to the milk. Basundi and rabri are not the same. The texture of basundi is totally different from rabri. I love basundi for its texture and flavor. Though making basundi from scratch takes time, it is worth the effort. Today we will learn how to make basundi following this easy recipe with step wise pictures.
Soak pistachios in hot water for 10 minutes. Remove the skin and chop it finely.
Take a heavy bottomed vessel. This is important to prevent the milk from getting burnt.
Bring 5 cups (1 litre) of milk to boil. Once the milk starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium low.
Soak saffron strands in 2 tbsp of hot milk. Crush the saffron strands to release its flavor. Keep it aside.
As the milk cooks, you will find a layer of cream/malai (palada) forming at the top. Collect the cream in a bowl. Once you collect the cream, stir the milk. Then again after few minutes, a layer of cream forms on the surface/top of the milk.
Keep collecting the cream (palada) until the milk reduces to half its original quantity. I have collected all the cream in a small bowl as you can see in the picture (right) below.
After the milk reduces to half, add sugar and stir for the sugar to dissolve. Add cardamom powder, edible camphor and the saffron soaked milk and turn off the heat. Let the milk cool completely.
Once the milk is completely cool, add the collected malai/palada back into the milk. Scrap the cream stuck on the sides of the pan and put it back into the milk.
Garnish with finely chopped pistachios. Refrigerate and serve chilled.
It is the cream which gives texture to the basundi. The flavor and texture of the basundi is simply mind blowing. Yes, it does take time to make basundi but it is worth the effort.
Do make this for Diwali and impress your loved ones.
Check out more than 75 Diwali Sweets and Snacks
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